I’d always associated South Bank with tourists and children (hello dirty fake beach) until I began cycling and realised that it’s also an amazing spot to view Brisbane. Riding along the river at South Bank really hammers home how lovely Brisbane is to live in. Clearly I’m not alone based on the number of bikes parked around Little Stanley St when I rode past last Sunday. I had planned to meet S & C at Tomohawk Bar for breakfast but we failed to check opening hours beforehand and as they don’t open until 11am, it was shut. We ended up at South Side Diner instead, which is on the Grey St side next to Denim Co, a popular cyclist pit stop. South Side Diner has been around for a while and attempts to mimic the popular American diners. Diner food is hardly my type of food so I have been ambivalent about going there but I’d heard good things about it.
Stepping into South Side Diner was like walking into a really modern version of the American diners I’ve seen in movies. It has the booths, the counter, the padded round bar stools and the 1950s paraphernalia but without the grime and fluorescent lights. S & I were already seated when I arrived and had started with coffee, which is freshly ground Di Bella filter coffee and (this might be the best part of my breakfast) is bottomless! The coffee was great, which is the opposite to any filter coffee I’ve had in the US but I was happy with the digression from authenticity!
The breakfast menu isn’t huge but includes standard breakfast menu items with an American twist. The fried eggs and bacon, 6(!) egg omelette and steak and eggs all come with home fries and pancakes (short or tall stack) come with streaky bacon and Canadian maple syrup. It’s not all fried, buttery food though – you can get half a grapefruit with raw sugar if you’re on a health kick. I initially went for the toasted granola with stewed apple and pear with honey cinnamon yogurt ($12.50) but changed my mind and ordered the toasted ‘Bagel Boys’ bagel with hot smoked trout, cream cheese, green herb pesto and poached eggs ($17.50) with a gluten-free bagel. I really love smoked fish and have no problems with eating it for breakfast. C went for the Steak ‘N Eggs ($18.50) and S chose the Crispy Fried Ham Hock Hash ($17.50).
Meals arrived about fifteen minutes later and we all dug in hungrily. My bagel had a generous amount of trout and a good schmear of cream cheese. The eggs were perfectly poached and there was a drizzle of pesto around the plate. As expected the trout and cream cheese were a happy flavour marriage and the addition of eggs and pesto just intensified the deliciousness. The only downfall of the dish was that the bagel was a bit cold and I think could have been toasted more. It didn’t help that it’s the middle of winter and the restaurant wasn’t particularly warm but it was disappointing and I ended up scraping the cream cheese and trout off one half.
|Steak ‘N Eggs|
|Bagel Boys’ Bagel with Hot Smoked Trout|
I sampled S’s ham hock hash which was a crumbed log of delicious soft ham hock with mashed potato mixed in. Unlike some other ham hock hashes I’ve had (*cough* Lock N Load *cough*) South Side Diner’s was chock full of ham. I’s minute steak looked tasty and he enjoyed adding the typical American condiments available on every table (tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, mustard). He really enjoyed his meal and prompted him to think about having minute steaks more often!
Overall we had a nice breakfast at South Side Diner but with all the other great breakfast options around South Brisbane/West End, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing back. The food was nice and the service was good, it’s just not my favourite type of food. The bottomless coffee might get me back though! If I ate pasta though I would rush back on a Monday night for their 2-for-1 Mac ‘N Cheese nights which would be perfect for a movie date at the Southbank Cinemas. Then there’s the genius sounding ‘Hard Shakes’ – adults-only vodka milkshakes with names like Tootsie Roll and Peanut Nutter – which sound perfect for a Friday night after a hard week.